UUP man gives account of ‘hate crime’ by republicans

The Union flag
The Union flag

An Ulster Unionist councillor has condemned what he described as a “disgraceful hate crime” in the north-west of the Province over the weekend.

UUP councillor Derek Hussey said in the early hours of Sunday a group of masked men were seen removing Union and Ulster flags on Lurganbuoy Road, Castlederg.

He said that they were challenged as to what they were doing by a young man and a girl who were driving by at the time.

He said: “The group of masked men then tried to pull the young man from his car and attacked him as well as verbally abusing the young girl.

“Before they left the scene, the attackers are reported to have said to their victim that they were from the ‘Real IRA’, that they knew where he lived and that if flags were erected again that they would be calling with him again.”

His account of events was put to police, but they did not respond by either phone or email.